Radical Instrument

IT is changing the exercise of power. Radical Instrument is picking up the signals.

Posts Tagged ‘Mumbai

Midweek roundup…watching the watchmen, Allende’s Internet, and terrorist surveillance-dodging

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Three midweek reads:

1.  Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? Via Wired’s Threat Level, the senior official for Beijing’s municipal Internet monitoring program is arrested for corruption.

2.  Over at iRevolution, Patrick Philippe Meier summarizes a fascinating paper on cybernetics under the Allende presidency in Chile. Interesting commentary at the end on the symbiotic nature of human as well as machine networks…similar to this presentation on the failure of the “Soviet internet.” If you have time, also recommend his recent post from Mobile Tech for Social Change Barcamp.

3.  Speaking of mobile tech…Italian press is reporting that the cell phones used in last year’s Mumbai terror attack were activated in the U.S. with Austrian country codes, registered to a man identifying himself as an Indian citizen, using funds wired from Italy. The alternative for avoiding surveillance? Skype, according to this Register piece, which cites an unnamed “industry source” disclosing an NSA offer of “billions.” (via Schneier)

Written by Mark

February 24, 2009 at 9:17 pm

More on Mumbai…

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The Washington Post has a front-page story today on the Mumbai attackers’ use of technology. I’m not sure why this constitutes front-page news, relative to other stories from Mumbai. The terrorists used GPS, BlackBerries, multiple SIM cards for their cellphones, and satellite maps? Well, of course. Millions of people have been using these things for years. Seems a bit unusual, possibly even patronizing, to think that this is somehow “new.” 

Reminds me of a story a few years ago – can’t find it now, but will hunt for it  – that described how refugees from the 1990s Balkan Wars became early adopters of Skype, to stay in touch with families left behind. Or how African farmers and merchants were among the first to use cellphones for currency transactions. We should expect innovative uses of technology to come from less advanced corners of the world, driven by need. And I really don’t think what was employed in Mumbai was all that innovative.

Written by Mark

December 3, 2008 at 11:51 am

Posted in Technology, Terrorism

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